Greek Fest 2014 honors fallen vets - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Greek Fest 2014 honors fallen vets

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

At the Greek Fest Sunday, organizers made sure everyone knew what this holiday weekend is really all about, honoring the servicemen and women who've given their lives for the country.

Through song, dance, and lots of delicious food, it's clear Greek culture is alive and well in New Orleans. "I like the music and the food. The food's probably my favorite," said festival goer Cheryl Reinhard.

Organized by volunteers, this festival aims to celebrate the city's oldest Greek Orthodox church and the roots of it's parishioners. But this weekend, also has other meaning. Fr. Dean Gigicos explains, "Memorial Day is to remember those people who preserved our freedoms."

Fr. Gigicos set up a memorial at the back of Holy Trinity Cathedral to honor the four parishioners killed in the line of duty. Two men lost their lives during the Civil War. Two others during World War II.

Festival goer Mike Gomez noted, "It's great that they're honoring the veterans."

Although small in size, the gesture has huge meaning for Nick Chronis, a Vietnam vet who lost friends in the war. "Memorial Day is a great day anywhere in this country because we see people who value what the military has contributed to our freedom and the things that we stand for," said Chronis.

This weekend is especially meaningful, as Chronis gets to commemorate the holiday with his son, currently stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. Chronis' son, also named Nick, says, "It means everything. Just being with family is outstanding. Certainly being separated by distance is one thing but just being with my dad, it's a special time."

The two spend their special time giving back, by volunteering at the festival, which has so much meaning for this tight knit church community.

This is the 41st year of the festival, which has extra significance this year because it also happens to be the 150th anniversary of the church.

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